The goal of the project was to study a wide range of potential health effects from BPA exposure, and generate data to be used in making regulatory decisions. The NIEHS put up $30 million for the seven-year program.
The agreed-upon protocol for the study was that the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) would start the experiment. Scientists there gave Sprague-Dawley rats a daily dose of BPA, either prenatally through puberty or prenatally and for their entire year or two of life. Some control rats received no BPA or hormones, while other, positive controls were dosed with ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic hormone. Fourteen academic scientists who had successfully applied to participate in the study were sent tissue samples from the rats. Grantees used the samples to test BPA’s effects on the brain, reproductive organs, the heart, and other tissues and functions, while the NCTR conducted its own tests, called the core study.